Wat Phra That Haripunchai

A highlight of a visit to Lamphun

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What we say: 3.5 stars

Wat Phra That Haripunchai is one of the most revered wats in Northern Thailand and is certainly the highlight of a visit to Lamphun.

Dating back to 1043, the main entrance (from the river) is flanked by large temple lions while the enclosure contains a number of points of interest.

The central chedi is over 60 metres tall and is topped by a nine-tiered golden umbrella that weighs in excess of 6kg. The chedi was added to the wat around 400 years after the initial construction and although not during the Haripunchai period, it was modelled on their style. This chedi was also apparently used as a model for the latter construction at Doi Suthep in Chaing Mai.

The chedi is the focal point for worshippers who will circle the structure stopping at each of the four sides.

Just to the north of this chedi, there is a second chedi, this one made of bricks and terraced with niches for small Buddha statues, although all the statues are long gone.

Other attractions include the massive bronze gong and a small Lanna style library just to the south of the gong.

Interestingly the entire compex was left in a state of ruin until the 1930's when a renovation was begun. You can see photos of how it looked before the renovation at the student bar on Attarot Road next door.

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Facing the Kuang River
Last updated: 4th November, 2012

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